Multiplying through discipleship at Tarleton’s BSM

by Bonnie Shaw on January 27, 2021 in Great Commission

From one discipleship relationship, three girls came to know Christ on Tarleton’s campus.

When Brandi walked into the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at Tarleton State University, she was unsure of what to do. She was visiting the BSM’s worship service at the invitation of her Residential Leader, but she had never attended a worship service before and felt uncomfortable.

Megan Trotter, interim director of the Tarleton BSM, noticed Brandi hiding in the corner. When she discovered that Brandi did not understand what worship services were about, Trotter began sharing the Gospel with her.

“I told her I would explain the Gospel to her, because if she understood the Gospel, she could understand everything we do,” Trotter said.

They met later that week, and Brandi began asking questions about who Jesus was, what the Holy Spirit did and other basic tenets of Christianity. That day, Brandi accepted Jesus into her life and became a Christian.

A year later, Brandi was able to lead her sister, Tori, to the Lord. Then the year after that, Tori led her roommate, Bella, to the Lord.

Faithfully sharing

Brandi first became confident enough to share the Gospel through the encouragement of the BSM. She went home for winter break and shared with her family. Her older sister, Tori, had been struggling for a while. She told Brandi she felt lost, and Brandi told her she knew exactly what she needed–Jesus.

Tori was skeptical, but was willing to try anything that might give her hope and purpose. Brandi told her to enroll at Tarleton and join the BSM. So Tori did, but she was more unsure about Christianity than her sister had been.

“She enrolled at Tarleton for the sole purpose of knowing Jesus,” Trotter explained. “But she said she’d tried other religions before, and she didn’t want this to be another thing that let her down.”

Months after Tori joined the BSM, Brandi’s small group decided that each of them would practice sharing the Gospel with one other person that week, and Brandi chose Tori. That night, Tori allowed herself to fully believe everything she had been learning and accepted Christ into her life. She was plugged into discipleship and learned more about praying, reading the Bible and sharing the Gospel.

The next school year, Brandi and Tori got a new roommate, Bella, who was not religious. She began coming to big events at the BSM, but she was skeptical. When Tori was encouraged to practice sharing the Gospel like Brandi had, Tori chose to share it with Bella. Bella accepted Christ into her life after Tori was done sharing. Now she is being discipled too and learning how to share the Gospel with others herself.

Teaching discipleship

The Tarleton BSM has been focused on emphasizing discipleship for years. The BSM does this through arranging intentional discipleships, which are similar to mentorships but are exclusively focused on spiritual life. This could include teaching new believers how to pray and read the Bible, walking through Scripture together and strengthening a disciple’s understanding of faith. Most importantly, these discipleships are designed to teach students how to disciple others.

Trotter explained that many students come to the BSM thinking they are unable to reach out to their fellow students because they are the same age. The BSM seeks to teach these students that age does not reflect spiritual maturity and that fellow students can be discipled.

“For a long time I thought discipleship had to happen with a large age gap… but that’s not really the way discipleship works, because our spiritual ages typically have nothing to do with our physical ages. And it’s really sweet when college students begin to realize that they can invest in people their own age, who they sit next in class and work with.”

Discipleship and multiplication is the goal for the BSM, Trotter explained.

“As we teach our student leaders and as we plan our events, we plan them in the hopes that not only will people become disciples but that they can make disciples,” Trotter explained. “And they will grow further, past being a believer and being a disciple and becoming a multiplier. Someone who can lead someone to Christ and make them a disciple and teach them how to make disciples.”

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